COVID 19 and the Economics of Aging and Longevity
December 4 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am EST
Featured Speaker: Holger Strulik
Holger Strulik is professor for macroeconomics and development economics at the University of Göttingen. His research interests include long-term macroeconomics, population economics, and health economics. In health economics, he proposed a new approach to human health and longevity that considers health status from the medical viewpoint as the accumulation of health deficits such as illnesses and functional limitations. Using a metric from gerontology, the frailty index, predictions of the new theory are straightforward to test empirically. Recent applications include the gender health gap, the health gain from marriage, the role of adaptation to deteriorating health for health behavior, self-control problems in health behavior, smoking, depression, painkiller addiction, and more. Holger Strulik is an associate editor of the Journal of Demographic Economics and the Journal of the Economics of Ageing. He is also member in several research networks such as the European Research Development Network (EUDN), CESifo, and the Macroeconomics Council and the Council for Health Economics of the German Economic Association.
Abstract: We propose a health-economic model to investigate individual lifetime behavior and long-term health outcomes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Individuals invest in their health to slow down health deficit accumulation and take measures to protect themselves from infectious diseases. The model explains how the severeness of Covid infections depends on the frailty (pre-conditions) of the infected and how infections affect the accumulation of chronic health deficits and mortality from non-communicable diseases (inflammaging). We calibrate the model for an average American and explore how the outcome of Covid infections depends on protection behavior, pre-conditions, and the disease environment. We also investigate health outcomes when individuals have misconceptions about the long-term consequences of Covid infections and explore the impact of Long Covid on aging and longevity.